The ProtoHype Challenge: Introduction

ProtoHype Concept Sketch
ProtoHype Concept Sketch

A few months ago I entered a prototyping competition, The ProtoHype Challenge, with some coworkers.  This competition is being sponsored by both TechShop and the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  The goal of the competition was to pair people with good prototyping skills (TechShop Members) with ideas for a medical device or biomedical research tool.  Ten groups from Pitt provided challenges from which the prototyping teams could submit proposals.  Our team was lucky enough to be chosen to prototype our favorite challenge: calibration of commercial motion capture IMUs (Inertial Measurement Units).

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Fusion Foibles: Editing Mass In Fusion 360

A few days ago I tried to update the mass of an off the shelf component in Fusion 360, something I do often in SolidWorks and Inventor, and found that I couldn’t. One of my most often used features in CAD packages (especially when the weight of a design is important) didn’t exist.

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CAD for Hobbyists: Autodesk Fusion360

fusionSplash
Fusion 360

The final CAD program we will be looking at in this series is Autodesk Fusion 360. At first glance, Onshape and Fusion 360 are rather similar.  Both are  a sketch/feature based modeler where you define a 2D profile and then convert that into a 3D shape.  Both also offer the ability to create an assembly (or collection of parts) without drawing a hard distinction between a part or assembly file.  So what sets Fusion 360 apart from Onshape?

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CAD for Hobbyists: Bottle Opener Sample Project

Bottle Opener
Rendering of Bottle Opener

In this CAD for Hobbyists series I am going to be comparing four CAD packages that are available for hobbyists: Creo Elements,  Fusion 360, Onshape, and OpenSCAD.  In order to compare these four packages I am going to use an example project where I create the same simple CAD model in each.

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CAD for Hobbyists: An Introduction

This post is the first of a series on CAD for Hobbyists.  Be sure to check back for more posts in the series.

I get to use CAD software almost everyday.  There are so many programs currently available it can be hard to choose one.  At work, I alternate between two of the larger players in the CAD game, Inventor and Solidworks, dependent on client needs.  I’ve been using both off and on since the mid-2000s, and over the years I’ve seen each one add a ton of features (and fix a ton of bugs).  More often than not, when one of them adds a great feature, in the next year or two the other will add a similar feature leveling the playing field in the CAD software feature arms race.  With the current versions of both packages it is hard to say who is currently ahead.  Certainly, each package has its quirks and you have to take a minute to adjust to how each functions, but to the average user the packages offer the same features.

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